Friday, February 24, 2006

Farewell .... Soon Beng

Blog updated after a visit to Soon Beng's wake on 25 Feb 2006....

Many of us fellow-colleagues turned up today at his wake to pay respect to the man who's lost his life so early. He was only 32.

There was no joss-stick at where the coffin was. And no funeral prayers of any kind one would expect to hear at a funeral. It transpired that Soon Beng, ever the joker that he was, had written an email to a group of friends sometime last year, thanking each of them for being his friends, and the happy time he had with them, and how appreciative he was of their friendship. That emailed was aptly titled "When I'm gone, there's no need for joss-sticks. Just a bow and it's enough to make me smile".

Many of us thought it was uncanny that Soon Beng should write that email. Some thought it was a premonition of sort. But I thought otherwise. It was just an email from a friend who liked to "horse around". And his family has decided to follow his wishes to keep his funeral simple - there would be no joss stick and the dins one would expect from a funeral. And he's also requested that rock music be played on his funeral.

Almost 3/4 of those present at the wake were fellow colleagues. Most of us sat solemn faced, some crying quietly, and others who looked as if they have been crying.

There were also some busy engaging in conversations. Some of these colleagues are friends whom we have not seen for a while for they work at different sites. So, it's a sort of gathering at the wake, if I may say so. And yes, there was laughter along with the chatters. Some would have thought it inappropriate. But I think Soon Beng would have liked that we keep smiling and laughing, like the way he was when he was with us....

I was numb with sadness when I received news of a traffic accident that claimed the life of my colleague, Soon Beng today. The accident happened after office hours at the stretch of road near my office building.

Handsome, big and a little chubby, I remember Soon Beng as a happy-go-lucky sort of guy. We work for the same company but in different departments. So, I can't say I really know him well. But do I remember his ever ready smiles and cheerful dispositions whenever we ran into each other along the office corridors, in the gents and in the lifts. Our pleasantries never went beyond "hello" and "good morning" though, and I never got the chance to know him better on a personal level.

Two years ago, I attended a self-awareness course with him, and I realise how Soon Beng could be the joker in class, the sort of life-wire that livens up the classroom. He's always happy and jovial, the kinda guy who could make light of a tight situation. During the self-intro, Soon Beng said that one of his passions is writing. I wonder if he kept a blog?

Years ago, Soon Beng, a bike enthusiast, had a close shave with a traffic accident that left him hospitalised. He was lucky then. But fate dealt him cruelly this time round.

The fragility of life - now you see it; and now you don't. It makes me realise how important it is to treasure what we have, to get to know our fellow colleagues better, to be nice to our fellow human beings and yes, to adopt a positive outlook in our life. After all, we never know when our time is up or if our name's next in God's computer print-out up there.... Sometimes, we forget that we're living in transience in this world, and most things don't matter when we're gone.

Soon Beng, wherever you may be, we'll miss you; and your memory will live with us forever ......

Category: Personal

A doctor's work ethic

It's incredulous what doctors are capable of doing these days. I'm not talking about medical advances; for these will come to naught if doctors refuse to treat patients. I'm talking about doctors who choose to turn away patients who are not regulars in their clinics. These are GP which operates until mid-night in the heartland for the benefits of their so-called regular patients.

A reader of the ST Forum wrote in today to lend his support to the doctors' practice, adding that these doctors "are loath to accept patients who see their competitor doctors but take advantage of their clinic's services only when their regular clinics are closed". Did I read right? "Take advantage"? When one is sick and in pain close to mid-night, who simply goes where the nearest medical help is available. I would hardly consider that "taking advantage" of the doctors!

It was also reported that a clinic in Serangoon has rules stipulating that only regular patients are entitled to see the doctors when the clinic is open on holiday, and no new patients will be attended unless brought in by a regular.

Have these doctors lost their bearing? Whatever happened to the doctors' work ethic? Are they not trained to save lives? And to ease the suffering of the sick? Regardless of who the patients are? What kind of society are we living in, when the doctors can pick and choose the patients who depend on them to save their lives?

The practice is so wrong. These doctors are giving the medical profession a bad name.

Category: Musings

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Parents beware: Idiots disguised as educated tutors

I can't help but recall my own experiences with private tutors when I read an article on how parents have been duped by poorly qualified tutors who advertised themselves as straight-A students with brilliant results.

Years ago, I called up a tuition agency, requesting for a tutor with at least an A-level qualification to help tutor my son. I specifically told the agency that I would like to take a look at the credential of the tutor and was assured that there was no problem.

On the day the tutor arrived at my home, she told me she's forgotten to bring her cert. I'm usually a man of reason. If you didn't bring it today, just show it to me the next time. But I was caught off guard when the tutor quipped, "is it really necessary for me to show you my cert? I'm from Outram Institute and I passed all my subjects. If I show you my cert, so what if you're not happy with my result?"

What audacity, I thought. I was left speechless momentarily but recovered enough to tell her that I have the prerogative not to hire her then.

Anyway, I don't know what got into me, but I hired her and let her coach my son. She didn't bother to bring her cert on her 2nd trip, nor the 3rd nor EVER.

But I fired her after just one month. I was beginning to seriously doubt her competence as a tutor. She bought assessment books for my son to practise and simply marked them without much explanation. An idiot could have done a better job.

I also found her teaching maths most of the time, and neglecting English which she was also paid to teach. When I told her to give my son compo-writing, she did so without bothering to give the kid any helping words. No explanation whatsoever that the first paragraph is the intro, the 2nd paragraph is where the main story is and so on and so forth like what we were taught in school.

My kid's future is at stake! And I decided to take matters into my own hand. But I was diplomatic when I called her to say that her service is no longer needed. I even lied to say that I'm going to coach my son personally. And her response? "Fine, just credit the amount you owe me into my bank account xxxxxx". I won't be surprised if she's used this line one time too many.

It was reported in the article that many of these tutors are lying about their qaulifications. And they were encouraged to do so by the tuition agencies. Parents really owe it to the kids to make sure that they are being tutored by truly dedicated and qualified tutors. What these people are doing is worse than the unscrupulous service-industry players highlighted by Victor in his latest entry "Unscrupulous Ways of Doing Business". They are playing with the future of our kids who, someday, will be the leaders of our nation!

Category: Personal

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sugar-coated candies

Politic isn't my thing. But what does one make of the sweetenings dished out by the gahman?

The writings are on the wall. I can't fault the gahman for dangling the carrots. It's the only logical thing to do to score big on the BIG DAY, anytime between a few weeks to a couple of months. Any sane gahman will do likewise; and the oppositions too, if they have the means.

I'm mostly happy that the bulk of the 2.6 billion Progress Package is going towards helping the lower-income strata of our society. Now kids of poor families have the chance to lift their families out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

But surely, we know there's no such thing as free lunches. And our gahman makes sure we know that as well. To qualify for the payout to low-income earners, one has to be in employment continuously for six-months last year, and another six months this year to get the other half of the payout next year. The gahmen is telling us: You help yourself; and we will help you.

I think it's commendable that our gahman is taking care not to turn our republic into a welfare state like some western countries where people choose to live on dole. Perhaps their unemployment rate is really dire, but with the gahman handling out money and food, what incentive is there to find a job?

Category: Gahman

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

You don't bring me flowers anymore ....

"You don't bring me flowers...... You don't sing me love song...."

The only two verses I know of a song by Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand.

But no matter. The Slim Lady is the sort of lady who does not fancy flower anyway. Female colleagues of mine told me not to believe this crap. They swear that girls from kids to 92 love flowers. One implication is that my wife is LYING. The other is that I should buy flowers for them. LOL.

Neither is my wife too keen on my singing. She never has a ear for music, save those sound-tracks from those Korean serial featuring hunky men and SYT (sweet young things). Sometimes, I wonder if she's tone-deaf.

Valentine's Day used to be sooo romantic. I bought dozens of flowers for her, sometimes having them delivered to her workplace. I painstakingly hand-made her Valentine's Cards. And then there was the candle-light dinner. Florists and restaurants were laughing their way to the banks. And what do we do? Staring lovey-dovey into each other's eyes. My wife said that if we were to do that today, she would try to stare pass behind my eyes to see if I still have a brain. Imaging spending a bomb on a dinner that would otherwise cost 50% less.

Valentine's Day, along with Mothers' Day and Father's Day, occasions meant to appreciate our loved ones, have become overly commercialised. When the face of commercialism rears its ungly head, it leaves me cold sometimes. The practice by retailers, florists and restaurants to mark up prices by 50-80% smacks of exploitation. That's partly the reason the Slim Lady and I decided to have no part in Valentine's Day.

But alas, being a sentimental fool that I am, I bought a flower, just a stock for my special lady today . She asked me "how much", like she always does. And I said "don't ask", like I always do each year. There was no candle-light dinner, though. And no exchange of presents. To us, everyday is a possible Valentine's Day.

I smsed the Slim Lady a Valentine's Day love note today first thing I reached the office:

"Happy Valentine's Day my dear!"
She in turn smsed back:

"U too pse fetch Junior after sch yr mum said tab asked us to tell ah boy not to play with her comp...."
That was followed by another sms on matters relating to some family "emergencies". Valentine's Day, did you say?

So much for romance .....

Category: Personal

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A weighty issue

On this last day of the Lunar New Year, I stepped on the weighing scale and discovered, to my consternation that I've put on 2 kilos! I'm not entirely surprised, though. For the past few days or so, I could feel myself somehow getting "heavier", my movement getting sluggish and clumsy. And that little pouch of mine - the spare tyre - it does seem more "pronounced" than it was 2 weeks ago.

It's all thanks to Chun See. That man advised me to put on hold my resolution to cut down on food for CNY. Now see what he has I have done! Chun See, like Victor, always dishes out sound advice. But I'm afraid the advice he gave me this time is quite.. well, unsound.

Do you believe I've been on an eating binge non-stop since the first day of CNY? It started off with the steamboat reunion dinner comprising prawns, crab, sotong, cockles, abalone, among others. My mum also prepared popiah, a standard fare each CNY. And I could easily consume 4 rolls at one go! The amount of popiah my mum prepared usually last for days. So you can imagine the number of "rolls" I have had since Jan 29.

Then there was the many CNY goodies - pineapple tarts, love letters, chocolate and sweets and the "must-have" bakwa. As if these are not enough, there are those that colleagues brought from home, the so-called "leftovers" from CNY celebrations, doesn't matter that technically CNY is not yet over even as I write. And what about the lohei? I've had at least 4 times of these. So, it's hardly surprising that I put on weight.

Maybe I could take a leaf from our very own MM who is 82 going on 28. He's fit as a fiddler despite his age and has a mind like a 28 year old - quick and always thinking on his feet. The secret to MM's longevity was out in the Sunday Times today:

1. Eat less than we should or eat only 80% full.
2. Exercise every day.
3. Work hard every day.
4. Sleep well every day.

The four points look simple enough for me to follow, though we know it's always easier said than done.

Wait... I have a plan. If all else fail, I'd do just what Garfield, the FAT cat did. In one of this famous cartoon strip, Garfield was standing just in front of a huge hippo, grinning from ear to ear as usual. The caption reads:

If you feel insecure and FAT, just hang out with friends who are FATTER than you.

Now, to devise a plan to make Victor, one of the BAGUS gang, FAAATTER than I am .... LOL.

Category: Musings

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Fast to cut, nice to look

Call me sua-ku, but a novelty of sort has sprung up in Eastpoint shopping centre, a stone's throw away from where I live. These days, not only do we have fast food, fast-car-wash, fast cars, fast women and fast everything, we also have "fast-hair-cut". In a corner of the shopping mall sits a unisex barbershop that promises to cut your hair all within a space of 10 minutes.

Victor, in one of his posts, waxed lyrical about the barbers of yore who operated in the backlane of many pre-war houses. And yes, they can still be found in the backlane of Aliwal Street and Mohamad Ali Lane as discovered by Victor. The photo on the right was "ripped" off Victor's blog without permission, just like Chun See did. See? Victor's blog is just full of photos that it's slowly becoming a photoblog. Victor may be blissfully unaware that he is giving the National Archives of Singapore a run for its money.

All through my childhood in the 70s and 80s, my dad, brother, cousins and myself all had had our hair cut by the only Ah Pek barber we knew existed in Club Street. Visiting the barber then was a simple affair. We paid between 40 - 80 cents and our hair was done, all in a matter of 20 minutes, without any fancy trimmings. Needless to say, we all ended up spotting the same hairdo - what one would call the "aeroplane" style (飞机头). The Ah Pek sometimes would engage in small chatters with me while cutting my hair. And because he practically knew my family, our conversation was usually centred on family matters, like how my father was doing and how I was doing in school. The conversations were short and to the point.

As I grew into adulthood, entered NS and subsequently started working, I went upmarket and started visiting unisex hair saloon. A simple "cut & blow" back then cost between $10-$12, considered dear in those days. I was (still am) not rich but vanity always got the better of me. I once tried to save money and played guinea pig in a Hairstylist Training School where I had my hair cut by young apprentices. That haircut felt like half a day and I literally dozed off. I swore off training school after that and patronised established salons. I vaguely recall one of the salons I visited as "Peter & Guy" (dunno if it's still around). I found the air-con in the salons comforting, but was far from comfortable with the many hairdressers, mostly females, trying to chat me up make small talk with me:

Hairdresser: Not working today ah?
Me: Er.. nope.
Hairdresser: Your hair a lot hor?
Me: Like my father one.
Hairdresser: Where you working?
Me: NS.
Hairdresser: oh... Want to highlight your hair? And perm a bit to give it more "body"?
Me: Ermmm... no lah.. NS cannot highlight hair one.
Hairdresser: Why cannot? You not BOTAK mah
Me: Later CO gimme extra duties than weekend cannot book out...
Hairdresser: x

As you can see, conversations with the hairdressers always bordered on the trivialities. They just wanted me to spend more money on my hair (and God knows what). Sometimes, I would close my eyes, pretending to be asleep just to shut them up.

Then I switched to the Malay barbershops, the "Sri Dana", "Sri Kenangan" and what have you. The one thing that stands out in these barbershops is the Malay pop music blasting away either from a mini-compo or from a TV hung high up against the wall. Conversations with the barbers tend to be minimal, limited to the usual "slope cut?" and "want to keep your sideburn?". On one rare occasion, I met one particularly chatty barber who warned me against dyeing my hair to cover up some "grey matters" lest I ended in the hospital like he did due to allergy to the chemical found in the dye. By and large, the Malay barbers are friendly and I do not feel the discomfort I usually feel in a unisex salon.

So you see, a haircut session has the ability to evoke different feelings and sentiments, depending on whether I have it done by the Ah Pek in the backlane, the hairdressers in the chic salons or Ali from Sri Nada. But one thing remains constant - my hair. It ALWAYS looks the same, bearing the same 飞 机 头 style. It does not matter who the hair-cutter was. Frankly, just how many ways can you do up a guy's hair?

Today, I thought I'd give the 10-minute-hair-cut barbershop a try. The sign outside the barbershop says "Sophisticated technology and systems that allow us to offer 10-minute haircut for $10. Service does not include hair washing, facial cleansing or shaving. Our shop respect your precious time. New comb made of environmental friendly material. Alcohol hand cleaner to disinfect hands of staff and customers. High sanitation standard." Hmmm... I liked what I read.

At the entrance of the barbershop stands the "ticketing machine". I slotted a $10 note into the machine and out came a credit-size ticket bearing queue no 3. How neat, I thought. The store is manned by three female hairdressers, all busy nipping away. I proceeded to sit on the bench and quietly await my turn.

While waiting, my eyes started wondering. I was struck by the shop's neatness and state of hygiene. The shop has a nifty vacuum cleaner in the corner of the room that simply sucks away the hair on the floor left behind by the previous customer. There are also sterilizers that look like microwave ovens that sterilize the combs and razors with ultra violet ray. The hairdressers who were all in white-overall. The whole setup looked clinical, but I thought it was very clean.

What caught my attention was the fact that all the three hairdressers were wearing surgical masks. Thank goodness, I thought, no more small chatters with the hairdressers. But on this occasion, I was feeling particularly chatty. I wanna ask if they have other branches in Singapore, who the brainchild behind this new haircut concept was, etc.

I was soon to find out the answers. Just below the mirror from where I was seating was a LCD monitor running a short film that went on and on about the branch's HQ in Tokyo, Japan. Trust the Japanese to come up with ideas that are always innovative and ingenious.

Did the store live up to its claim of a haircut in 10 minutes? Unfortunately, the answer is no. In my case, the hairdresser took 20 minutes. But guess what? I'm not complaining and am very likely to visit again for my next haircut. I love the cleanliness of the shop. The hairdressers were also very polite and despite wearing a mask, they managed a muffled "Thank you and Bye" to customers when their cut is done. Besides, the Slim Lady has commented that my new hairstyle looks "nice". Of course it is! 飞 机 头 is timeless, and is always nice!

Category: Musings

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why do I feel as if I'm on an "Electric Chair"?

The wait outside was agony. Was that a scream I heard coming from the room? Or was it a fragment of my imagination? Too much movies, perhaps? But that was reel. And this is real.

Twenty minutes later, it was my turn. The door swung open, and I slowly approached the chair, with much dread and apprehension. I plonked myself on the chair and open my mouth.

There was no scream. But something else - a scalpel, was probing my mouth, gently and mostly on my teeth. The man in white standing behind me said, "Relax, and you don't have to open your mouth so widely."

I paid a visit to the dentist today, unbelievably my first since 1986 when I was in primary 6. Everyone knows a visit to the dentist is one of life's most unnerving experiences, maybe next to having an injection. Can't blame me for procrastinating.

Yes, I remember the much dreaded dental clinic in my primary school all right – the "medicinal" smell, the "clinking”sound of dental tools on the dentist's tray, the sound of drilling..... and the occasional groans of pain and scream! Aarrgghhh!

Back then, we kids call the dental room Torture Chamber no. 2, the first being the principal's office. Nothing scared us off our pants shorts/skirts more than the sight of a school kid came a-knocking at our classroom door with the much dreaded A-3 size yellow dental card. It did not help that sometimes the kid would appear with bloody looking bandage dangling in between the corner of his lips, no doubt suffered at the hands of the nasty nurses in the Torture Chamber prior to knocking at the door. We kids would wait and pray with bated breath, hoping that our name would not be called. None of us kids liked to visit the dental nurses.

There were two dental nurses in my school. I remember one of them, only because of a huge mole located somewhere near her mouth. We kids privately called her "The Mole". A woman of huge proportion, the Mole would often yell at us kids to "open your mouth wider!" or passed cruel remarks like “your mouth stinks! Don't you ever brush your teeth?” A classmate of mine whose hair was lice-infested got the worst treatment of all. She was always at the receiving end of The Mole's horrible torture, occasionally being slapped for not doing anything about her hair. No one likes to stand behind a ball of lice-infested hair, I'm sure. But getting physical was just being abusive. Those were the 70s and 80s when being slapped by teachers and principals was common practice. If the dental nurse were to pull this stunt today, heads would definitely roll and parents would write to the forum, no doubt. Have our kids become "over-protected"? That's another subject for another day.

Back to my dental appointment today. I had suffered a rather bad toothache two weeks ago and called the dental clinic to book an appointment, only to be told that the next available date would be two weeks later. This dentist came highly recommended by the Slim Lady so I chose to wait, while enduring the toothache with painkillers. When I finally saw the dentist today, my pain was all gone. I thought of giving the appointment a miss but decided to go through it since I've not had my teeth checked for decades.

Unfortunately, the doctor told me that both my wisdom teeth and the molar teeth next to them have shown sign of decay, and advised me to remove them all. To do so, it would cost me an arm and a leg at about $1000! It's not about the money, though. It's the pain I fear.

The doctor "promised" me that my pain will surely and DEFINITELY come back to haunt me. It's either now or later. But I like it that he was not pushy about it, unlike some doctors I heard.

I'm usually not a procrastinator. But when it comes to pain, it's a different story altogether. I must be wise beyond my years. How else do you explain the wisdom teeth? So "wisely", I'd wait....

Category: Musings

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What I really feel about blogging, now

Lately, I've been pondering over the true meaning of blogging. I didn't set out to blog. That day on May 23, 2005 when I first created my blog and published my first entry, I did it all in the name of fun. Junior has started to cycle without the training wheel, and having read so much about blogging, I thought I'd put that memory down in writing, so what better way to start a blog?

Over time, what started out as a journal of sort became a platform where I express my feelings and emotions over many things in my life. Like a piece of canvass, my blog is where I paint what I want, how I want and when I want, depending on my many moods. It is where I pen my inner most thoughts, express my joy and happiness; wallow myself in grieves and disappointment; reminisce about the past, gripe about everything in life and yes, "bitch" about fellow-human beings. So, you see, there's no central theme in my blog.

There are others who blog for a host of reasons. People like Chun See blogs mostly about nostalgia and the Singapore of yore. Thanks to sentiment fool like him, he does so with such passion and I must applaud him for providing so many valuable lessons to the youngsters of today on the history of Singapore. Frannxis blogs about his love for the Chinese Opera and he's shown that someone who loves serious stuff like the opera can be quite humorous as well. Just take a look at his post on the "Three Smiles".

Victor, my good friend, blogs to rise to my challenge that "an old dog [like him] can still do a good blog". I must add that Victor has proved his point and has used his blog to his advantage with his many swipes at the people around him. Unfortunately, I've been at the receiving end of most of his many jabs, swipes, sneers, jeers and contempt, just as he is from mine. Of course, we both know we are just horsing around, taking things with a pinch of salts. It's really quite challenging, this game we play. And I delight in having the last jab at Victor, as much as he has the last laugh sometimes.

Then there are those who blog for fame and money that commercial endorsement bring in. As you can see, blogging is really a matter of "different strokes for different folks".

I remember my enthusiasm then, when I started my blog, and how I happily announced, with an email, to my close colleagues about my blog, including one to my boss.

Victor, who shared my love for writing, soon followed suit. We used to be each other's No 1 fan, always leaving comments for each other. Our friendship was mostly forged over a plate of Kway Chap or Bah Kut Teh during lunch with BAGUS. But there is no question that blogging is a medium which re-affirmed our friendship, for its through blogging that we sometimes bare our most inner thoughts on the issues of life. Some of our other colleagues told us they, too, were reading our blogs, even though they didn't leave any comments. That sort of turned my heart cold.

I used to think I can blog just about anything (well, almost) under the sun. But when I became aware that people whom I know are reading my blog, I began to practise self-censorship for fear of hurting and offending them. It became apparent to me that I must think twice before blogging about that "seagull manager" in my office, or that apple polisher who waste not time sucking up to our bosses. I force myself to refrain from commenting negatively about the "power that be" in the office. I can't imagine the repercussion should they read about my blog.

Likewise my family. I have issues with my siblings but I can't put that down in case they chanced upon my blog and our relationship took another nosedive. Washing dirty linen anonymous is fine, but not in full view of colleagues and friends, though. Of course, the logical thing to do is to shut down my blog and start anew one that's anonymous, an option that I'm seriously considering.

I can no longer be truthful to myself for the thing that I blog. The situation now is such that instead of blogging for myself, I find myself blogging for an audience who only read what they like to read. You know you're not blogging for yourself when you start to “lug” a digital camera with you wherever you go, snapping photos and collecting materials, animated or otherwise for your next blog. It not only becomes a chore, it can be extremely dangerous too, as Victor so aptly put it in his latest post. I would NEVER subject myself to such risk, just to blog for an audience. Victor, contrary to what you may think, this is not a swipe at you. It's an advice to you or one day, you'll find yourslf in SEVEN EIGHT pieces. ROTFL.

Category: Personal

Friday, February 03, 2006

Baby you can drive my car

It's all thanks to Victor.

I just blew more than 45 grands on a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer. What was I thinking? For the longest time, I've been toying with the idea of giving up driving altogether. The cost of car-ownership is anything but cheap in Singapore. In fact, Singapore is widely known as a place where the cost of having a car is the highest in the world. No other place on earth comes a close second. It's crazy. A car is basically made of tin, is it not? Just like a can of coke? Why should it cost an arm and a leg?

Having said that, I do feel that owning a car is a matter of personal choice. It all boils down to the kind of life-style one is pursuing, and it has nothing to do with being materialistic.

Take the example of my family. It takes me about 1.5 hours to travel to work with public transport but only 30 minutes if I drive. If we were to measure the time wasted in terms of man-hours, can you image how much that would be? It does not matter that we have a near world-class transport system. It just does not make sense to waste so much time travelling. I've considered moving to a place near my office. But dropped the idea when I realised that that was going to cost me the other arm and the leg (then I'm left with just the torso. How to drive or do anything? LOL)

Having a car also means that I can drive my kids to school, not that I mind being a chauffeur. What better ways to bond with your kids communicating with them in the car as you drive, never mind that most of the time they are half-asleep at the back, responding to my questions in a monosyllabic fashion.

And yes, I also chauffeur my elderly parents around, sometimes to visit relatives, other time for their monthly check-up at the hospitals, and bringing my mum to do her marketing during festive seasons.

Isn't it crystal clear that a car to me is ABSOLUTELY necessary? It's definitely not a luxury as some of my colleagues put it.

Ok, I do realise I've been trying to justify my car purchase. A colleague of mine says a Libra has tons of reasons for doing the things he wants to do. Don't we all? Besides, everyone agrees that the time is right for me to replace my 8-year-old trusty (but not rusty) Nissan March since the COE has nosedive to almost "pit bottom". I sure am gonna miss my Nissan. She's been good and has served me well. Sniff.

Thanks Victor, for your time and your sound advice. And for Gilbert.

Category: Personal

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

孙 子 满 堂

Baby Jovan has had enough staying in the safe sancty of his mummy's womb. Already over-due by a couple of days, he decided to make his grand entrance into the world today in the wee hours of the morning at preciously 0408H. Welcom to the world, Baby!

Slim Lady was quite taken in by little Jovan when she visited him at the hospital and smsed me to tell me how cute as a button he is. Little Jovan is a real whopper, weighing 8.21 lb, breaking the record of Senior Junior when he was a baby at 8.11 lb!

我岳母大人的家,可说是孙子满堂啊!With the arrival of Jovan, she has a total of 11 grandchildren. My mum only has 3, plus 1 coming in June (Not mine though cause Sim Lady's factory has long closed down for business. I'm so happy that my younger brother is finally gonna be a Dad!).

Category: Personal